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Poster: turnphilup Date: Mar 17, 2009 1:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

First of all just a big phat thanks to all of you out there who have been quenching my everlasting thirst for knowledge about this band. I mostly have been lurking here for about 2 years and post rarely. Got on the bus in '89 at age 23 and have not stopped listening since. I loved everything about the scene and hated that it became a victim of what I would call the late 80's and early 90's cultural decadence. Not that I was part of the problem myself. Although I did my fare share of partying at shows, I never went to a show without a ticket and never crashed a gate. I respected the whole beauty of that time and missed it sorely when it ended.I was there for the music and to blast off to outer space on a journey down the worm hole. I become a student of the band and the music and wanted to know everything I could about the guys. I took vacations to see them and have 200 bootlegs(cassettes)in my basement collecting dust. I know the time machine show questions have been rotating through here every so often. So, in my quest for more knowledge from the regulars at this site about the whole scene before I joined in it is this. If you had just 1 minute to decide before you had to step into the time portal next to you, that is going to deliver you to the show of your choice 1 hour before showtime, with a ticket in your hand, what date would you punch in? I guess I really want to why as well. Was it the best show you ever saw already? or because its you favorite bootleg? Or you just know the scene or the venue and the set list are all going to coalesce into the perfect show. What was the scene like in the early 80's compared to the late 70's? Most of you seem like your first show was from 80 to 85.Did the heads from the seventies think Brent sucked as we much think Vince sucked in his early days? Thanks for responding and looking forward to your replies. I just punched in 8-27-1972 and will be back with a full report as to whether it was as good as I think its going to be.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Mar 17, 2009 5:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

Just like everything in life, there were subtle changes and large changes throughout the scene. I wasn't quite old enough to catch any Pig shows, so my experience was the band with Keith and Donna. By the time Terrapin was released I was in the JGB camp as far as show preference goes. I really didn't attend many Dead shows from 76 onward, missing the stellar 77 tours. If I made an effort to attend shows, I wanted a religious experience, and the small venues that JGB played in made it all the more intimate. Sitting in grandly decorated theaters that were like chapels only amplified the experience. Being able to see Jerry's expression as he played from a few rows back was the shit.

When Keith and Donna were dumped, it didn't make a whole lot of difference to me, I hadn't seen the band in a few years. One afternoon in '81 I was at a "Harvest Party" with everyone outdoors and a PA playing a recent boot tape with Brent on it. I really liked his approach to keys and they were very up front in this particular mix. But, the band had obviously turned a corner without me in tow.

Probably the one biggest thing that put me off the Dead after Terrapin was that the studio stuff and the writing in particular wasn't up to snuff. I got to hear plenty of tapes, and the new material for the most part just didn't hold up. I never saw a Brent show because of it. To me it just wasn't motivational.

I still went to plenty of Garcia shows, and finally in 91 went to a Dead show with Hornsby & Vince. It caused a real revelation on aging, and I went for days in this weird depression about how bad getting old is. Seeing Garcia standing dead still with his head down for the whole show was flat depressing. It was the end of the line, time to get off the bus.

Having gone for so long without seeing a show and then to see (and hear) that mournful dirge of a performance was a shock to the system. I couldn't bring myself to understand how everyone in the scene remained so animated, but have since learned that it was all in your frame of reference. Most everyone in attendance had not been to a 73 or 74 show. Nor did they have the historical and cultural experience enough to judge what had happened from an old man's perspective.

It's amazing to think that there will be kids getting on the bus during this tour, and I haven't been for a ride in 18 years!

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Poster: staggerleib Date: Mar 18, 2009 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

Earl-
I agree and don't. Yes, it took a while to get used to Brent (I joined in 77), and must admit to never missing Donna. But he really won me over. There was that amazing Leslie Organ sound that he brought in. Though it did take a while to incorporate his style into the songwriting, and he tended towards saccharine in his own writing, he did become a valid and true member of the band. Funny how even after a dozen years with the band, he was still referred to as "the new guy." I remember that video of Brent with Tom Davis. That was so funny. I'm sure it's on YouTube, but at work I cannot get there.

Anwyay, I did become far more a JGB fan sometime during the mid 80's. There's that Leslie Organ sound again (both Melvin and Merl). But I never stopped listening to the band and their newer music. I was sad when Brent screwed the pooch, and missed him. I felt that he was just getting into a groove.

I am one of the few who liked Vinny. While I have my issues with him as well (much preferring the lineup with Bruce and Vinny), I still think that his brand of synthesizers with his musicianship could have taken on a life of it's own, of course that was never meant to be. I guess that as a Todd Rundgren and Tubes fan, I was predisposed towards liking Vinny.

So, to the issue of Jerry's aging and not moving as much as in earlier times, I can only say that having attended shows spanning 17 years, you sort of got used to it. I remember an amazing Alpine Valley show where the ripples through the crowd were due to Jerry actually Jumping while playing. Amazing and spontaneous. I believe that it was 84-7-7.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Mar 17, 2009 4:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

I saw my first show in May of 1979 - Brent's first tour - and maybe the older Heads I knew were weird older Heads, but they all liked Brent. A couple of them were still pretty angry at Keith for being such a nod-head (he was still alive).

As for the time machine question, it could be just about any date in 1973, but if I had to pick just one it would be the free show 02/09/1973 at Stanford, first show of the year. There are technical problems galore, but there is also a very tight and practiced band, with a whole raft of new songs.

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Mar 17, 2009 5:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

I would go back to the 10/19/74 show. I was lucky enough to attend. Awesome Eyes, one of the best, and the strech from intermission to Dew was some of the most emotional times for me at a show ever.

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Poster: cosmic charlie dupree Date: Mar 17, 2009 3:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

Turnphil - this may be cheating a bit.... I'd pick
http://www.archive.org/details/gd66-acid-test-supplement.sbd.unknown.9514.shnf

Not because it's one of my top shows, but I would love to have been able to go through an Acid Test / Prankster experience. The honest truth is, I would have been way too chicken to actually hang out at an event like this (read Dhamma1's post along these lines re: the hassles of being an early adopter of psychedelic music scene), and would have not felt comfortable in my own way too clean cut skin, but still.... to be a fly on the wall for what turned out to be an epicenter of sorts for the revolution in music and culture - I can't even describe how gratifying that would be.

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Poster: GennyBenni Date: Mar 17, 2009 2:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

I'm not a veteran like so many of the folks on here, but I've absorbed enough of this stuff to know what I'm saying for the most part.

I would go to 2-13-70. It literally changed my life the first time I heard that Dark Star. To have seen it happen would have been more than I could ever possibly ask for for the rest of my life.

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Poster: smi2les25 Date: Mar 17, 2009 5:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

I thing it was Mr Charlie for me... but then it got really Cosmic, show you might like these two shows >

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-10-08.sbd.gasperini-bunjes.25757.flacf

http://www.archive.org/details/gd69-01-17.sbd.miller.89798.sbeok.flac16

and don't forget the Guldens for the Transition

This post was modified by smi2les25 on 2009-03-18 00:24:32

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Mar 17, 2009 4:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

I would've loved to have been at any of the '67 GG Park concerts...partly for the sounds, and partly for the scene.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 17, 2009 10:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

Oh, to have seen any '67 show! Or even to be bumping into Tell at one of the NY '68 shows....

In the Taping Compendium there's an interesting comment on the (pretty good) 10-21-71 show that shows the change in perspective we're talking about, from an early fan who missed the days of cosmic Dark Stars and Lovelights:
"It had been downhill since Mickey left, and the first time I heard the band with Godchaux I about puked. Their performance was so lethargically abysmal, I thought they might just as well hang it up. It just didn't seem that the Dead were into making music anymore. The Skull and Roses album was a downer. It was becoming depressingly clear that '69-70 would never happen again. I wasn't going to be interested in following the Dead much longer - it just wasn't fun anymore...."

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 17, 2009 3:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Variations on a theme....The portal awaits.

For me it would be 6-14-68 because of the unreal playing on StSt and the overall energy/sound Jerry provides. 12-29-68 would be a close second, BUT it really is like many other shows +/- six months whereas 6-14 is SINGULAR.

It's energy and vocals for the early era that grab me.

And yes, I thought Brent sucked when he first came on, but that's cause I didn't know at the time that Keith had gone down hill. As Earl pointed out, we were too close to it at the time to judge. When I first heard Brent sing I gagged. Literally disturbed me.

Harsh, I know, esp for all the 80s lovers. That's why I stopped in 82, though continuing decline in general was more important than just Brent.